tv NBC Nightly News NBC March 23, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
rain coming back and we need it. sierra snow. >> "nbc nightly news" is next and then more local news at 6:00. hope to see you then. on this sunday night, desperate search for survivors of a deadly mudslide in washington state. a square-mile of devastation came out of nowhere, left dozens of homes destroyed and many people missing. new discovery. satellites pinpoint more possible debris in the southern indian ocean. as the search continues, the families grow more frustrated 16 days after the plane disappeared. race against time to contain an oil spill off the texas coast after a barge and a ship collide. tonight, the threat to wildlife is a major concern. and dramatic rescue as two young boys venture out on a frozen river and then the ice begins to move.
>> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. >> good evening. a desperate and dangerous search and rescue operation is continuing at this hour in western washington for more than a dozen people still missing after a massive mudslide buried parts of a residential community. several lives were lost when a debris field washed out a rain-soaked mountain on saturday, unleashing a torrent of mud on to homes below. today, after surveying the scene from the air, washington's governor described it as a square mile of total devastation. making matters worse, the quicksand-like ground has created perilous conditions for rescuers. nbc's miguel almaguer is near oso, washington, 55 miles outside seattle. miguel, what's the latest? >> reporter: lester, good evening.
the road behind me leads to oso, the road behind me leads to oso, the small community demolished by mudslides. while some residents are being allowed into the area, responders are searching the mountainside for survivors and victims who may still be trapped in the mud. the wave of mud tore through everything in its path. the torrent of rocks and trees swept across homes and washed out roads. >> this is a major slide here. there's houses on to -- down into the main road. >> reporter: tonight, two neighborhoods are obliterated. at least four are dead, 18 missing. it hit without warning, no time to run. >> i was coming down the hill. i just saw the darkness, like somebody wants to grab you from the -- and everything was gone. like three seconds. >> reporter: witnesses and rescue teams could hear pleas for help. >> we're hearing cries, possibly a child. >> reporter: using helicopters, rescue teams pulled a 6-month-old baby and seven other survivors from the mud. but then, it became too risky for crews. >> we've got this huge
square-mile mud floe up there that is basically like quicksand. it's extremely fluid. it's moving. and we suspect that there's people out there, but it is far too dangerous to get responders out there on that mud floe. >> reporter: triggered by a rain-soaked hillside, the debris field is massive, the size of nearly 500 football fields. [ sirens ] suddenly, one disaster triggered two emergencies. with debris clogging the stillaguamish river, hundreds evacuated downstream. with the fear of catastrophic flooding, the town of oso is cut off. >> we're going to lose our house. we have a brand-new house down there. >> reporter: conditions so treacherous, the search team had to be rescued after getting stuck in the mud. we were with reed miller as he tried to reach his son, joseph, among the missing. >> please record your message. >> reporter: do you think there's a chance your son made it out? >> it's questionable. it really is.
i hate to say it, but it's questionable. >> reporter: greg was on the phone with his brother minutes before the mudslide. tonight, no word from john and his wife, chris. >> in john's 32 years in the navy, if someone can survive it, it's him. and his wife, i'm sure. >> reporter: just a short time ago, first responders told us they are no longer hearing those cries for help. some 30 homes have been damaged or destroyed. the fear tonight is that the death toll could rise. if there is any good news in this tragedy, it's that the fear of catastrophic flooding has diminished. lester? >> all right. miguel almaguer tonight, thank you. we turn to the mystery of flight 370, and as evening arrives here in the u.s., it is monday morning in australia, where another day of searching is set to begin. today, the french announced they have recorded satellite images of what could be floating debris in the area targeted by search teams. we get the latest now from nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: somewhere out there, the french say their
satellites picked up new images of debris that could be from flight 370. those images follow satellite photos from australia and china that seem to show large floating pieces of debris. while civilian aircraft have reported seeing small objects in the water, air force searchers today found nothing. >> weather conditions out there today were less than favorable. we were expecting an improvement in conditions. however, that wasn't the case. >> reporter: in the air today, six aircraft from australia and new zealand. on the water, eight ships, including a chinese icebreaker and an australian naval ship also in the region. captain allison norris is aboard the australian ship "success." >> the ship's company are acutely aware that there are families of 239 people who are on board that aircraft, and we see it as our role to do whatever we can to provide them the answers they deserve. >> reporter: of particular interest, a wooden pallet, spotted by a private aircraft on saturday. it could be trash or a pallet from the plane's cargo hold.
but so far, search teams haven't found it. also today, malaysian authorities contradicted information provided by u.s. authorities who said the plane's u-turn had been preprogrammed into the flight's computer, suggesting the diversion was premeditated. malaysian authorities now say the last burst of acars show a normal flight path to beijing with no u-turn preprogrammed. to some, that could reopen the theory that a catastrophic mechanical failure occurred rather than something criminal. meanwhile, an unprecedented challenge of finding debris floating in an area nearly the size of west virginia. >> we have now had a number of very credible leads. and there is increasing hope, no more than hope, no more than hope that we might be on the road to discovering what did happen to this ill-fated aircraft. >> and here's the challenge.
those two pieces of debris spotted by satellite are 72 and 79 feet long. those are big pieces. as for the 777, that plane itself has a wingspan, as you can see, of 200 feet in total from tip to tip. and nose to tail, 205 feet in length. so, trying to figure out where a size that big would come as it relates to the debris in the water, it's possible, but they have a hard time reconciling the length and size and how oddly shaped it is and whether it would, in fact, come from a plane, given how it's been beaten up in the water over two weeks. lester? >> tom costello with us, thanks, tom. let's drill down on that search under way, start from australia, trying to find the pieces of debris, we mentioned, were spotted by satellites. nbc's bill kneelly is following that part of the story for us from perth. bill? >> reporter: good evening, lester. this is the most intensive day of searching at least so far. at least 10, possibly 12 flights will take off from here.
two chinese planes have just left, joining the search for the first time. and a u.s. poseidon plane will be going. i'll be on that one. we'll be looking not just for the big debris but the small objects seen by commercial planes, the wooden pallet, and also some multi-colored belts or straps. the problem, of course, is that they could just have easily come from a passing cargo ship as from a plane. but morale among the crews is good. they're optimistic. the weather, not so good. a tropical cyclone is due to hit the search area. that could move the debris or it could sink it all together. lester? >> all right. bill kneale, tonight, thank you. the mystery of flight 370 has been the subject of so many hunches, wild guesses and theories, a rubix cube that has consumed experts and laymen, but none of it has been helpful to the loved ones of the 239 people who were on that plane. they don't want theories. they want answers. nbc's keir simmons has their story from kuala lumpur. >> reporter: they are messages
of hope. can you feel my love coming through, sarah bajc writes on her facebook page. it should be able to reach you, no matter where you are. her boyfriend, philip wood, missing for more than two weeks, a passenger on malaysia flight 370. my heart is aching for you, she writes in another note. and in another, please come home, baby. in kuala lumpur, this woman shakes her head in disbelief that her 24-year-old son is still missing. god give me strength. i can't tell you how much i miss my son, she says. he has been gone now for so long, i've been talking to a photo of him, asking, when will you come back to me? stunned by criticism of
relatives, malaysia airlines held a meeting in beijing, but family members left confused and still angry. they said there was no crash, no hijack and no shooting down of the plane, says one. i asked them to explain, but they said they couldn't. increasingly, families have been questioning the search for flight 370. today, the malaysian government has so few answers to their questions. malaysians themselves made their support clear, organizing a bike ride for the missing. >> i wish they all come back safely. >> reporter: but every day that passes, hope fades and the families face the terrible prospect of not knowing what happened to their loved ones. it is almost dawn here in kuala lumpur, the beginning of another difficult week for families here and around the world. the wait described by sara bajc is a painful combination of hope and heartache. lester? >> thank you. in this country, crews are trying to contain an oil spill tonight off the coast of texas
after a barge filled with marine fuel collided with a ship. beyond the impact on traffic in and out of busy houston ship channel, there's growing concern about wildlife. our report tonight from nbc's gabe gutierrez. >> reporter: from the air, twisted steel clearly visible on the barge that was carrying nearly a million gallons of fuel. emergency responders and clean-up crews are rushing to the texas coast to contain the oil which now extends at least 12 miles offshore. >> i want to emphasize that this is a significant spill. >> reporter: the coast guard says just one of the barge's tanks, known to carry 168,000 gallons, was breached. >> it has a type of bunker fuel in it, a very heavy oil in it. >> reporter: the barge collided with a ship saturday afternoon near texas city, injuring two crew members. the area around the spill, shown in red, is now blocking access to part of the houston ship channel, one of the busiest in the world. dozens of vessels, including two cruise ships, were stranded, unable to dock. fisherman jeff roberts spotted
oil residue on his boat. >> the first oil was going up the ship channel. and then a couple of hours later, now it's coming around the back side of the island. >> reporter: a major concern. the surrounding area is also a popular habitat for shore birds, which the houston audubon society worries could be threatened. the coast guard now says it's getting first reports of oiled wildlife. >> once that oil is in the environment, it will move with the environment and has done so, and moving now out into the gulf of mexico. >> reporter: tonight, crews have stopped the leak and are removing the damaged barge from galveston bay, as they continue to monitor water and air quality, the spill's full reach unknown. gabe gutierrez, nbc news. millions of people are keeping the eye on the possibility of a major winter storm on the east coast in the next couple of days. nbc news meteorologist dylan dreyer is tracking it for us. dylan, good evening. >> good evening, lester. the ingredients are there. we have the cold air with the polar jet and the moisture with the subtropical jet but the
question mark is on how these will come together. the thinking right now is rain across the southeast by monday evening. then it develops into lighter snow through the afternoon on tuesday, with potential blizzard-like conditions by tuesday night into wednesday morning across parts of especially coastal new england. now, if it hangs on to this track, we should see just light snow amounts back through parts of new jersey. a little bit more -- a couple of inches possible in new york city. but the potential for several inches of snow, including boston and parts of cape cod. but we still have to iron out these details, lester, as we go through the next day or so. but the track takes a little more easterly component to it, but a more westerly track, this could be a major storm. lester? >> dylan, thank you. when "nbc nightly news" continues on this sunday, how to build a successful business and help people find their financial footing in the process. later, they were headed for danger. we'll hear from the boys who became trapped on an ice floe. when jake and i first set out on our own,
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we're back we're calling it "built for w we're back with the start of a new series that takes a look at folks venturing out on their own and starting businesses in this country. we're calling it "built for success." in tonight's report, we'll see how one woman is building her business around the idea that just about everyone can benefit from some financial planning. her story tonight from cnbc's carl quintanilla. >> they make money the old fashioned way. >> reporter: if wealth management always sounded like something for the rich -- >> they make money the old-fashioned way, they earn it. >> reporter: -- there's a start-up in new york looking to bring it to the masses. >> financial planning shouldn't be a luxury. it just shouldn't. >> reporter: it's called learn vest. and its founder hopes to turn it
into the weight watchers of finance and where those even who live paycheck to paycheck can turn it into a financial planner. >> not a lot of people have focused on and would argue it's 99% of the country. >> translator: the cost? $399 upfront and $19 a month. clients get a personalized financial plan, software to track every expense and their own adviser. but there's a catch. the advisers often handle hundreds of clients at once. and you can only talk to them by phone or e-mail. the company insists that doesn't make it any less personal. >> i had a client e-mail me the other day and she said she and her husband are eight weeks pregnant. only she and her husband know. >> you were the third person to know? >> yes. >> reporter: learn vest planners don't sell stocks or mutual funds. that appealed to this woman, deep in debt after a wedding and
buying a house since singing up with learn vest three years ago, the 39-year-old has started contributing to her 401(k). she puts $500 a month into emergency savings. her nest egg so far, $13,000. >> really, it does open your eyes to see how much you spend on groceries and fast food and restaurants and those kind of -- you don't even realize it while you're doing it. and then when you look at the total and how it hits your budget, it's amazing. >> reporter: how often do they say, you know what? i'm in deep trouble and i do not know where to begin? >> every single time. >> reporter: a reminder, she says, that those with the least money are the folks who need a financial plan the most. carl quintanilla, nbc news, new york. up next here, some scary moments. we'll hear from a couple of boys who found themselves stuck on some shifting ice, headed for danger. those little things still get you. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment is right. cialis is also the only daily ed tablet approved to treat symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently.
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unforgettable. rebhorn appeared in more than 100 film and tv roles in his 50 50-year career. he had memorable parts in "meet the parents," as the prosecutor who jailed the characters in the finale of "seinfeld" and in "homeland." he died of melanoma. he was 65 years old. we're learning more tonight about a dramatic rescue that took place on a river in iowa, when two boys became trapped on an ice floe and found themselves moving toward a hydroelectric dam. nbc's kristen dahlgren has more on their story. >> reporter: for dylan and corbin crawford, the fear on their faces says it all. >> he started screaming for help and was like help! help us! >> reporter: the 7- and 12-year-olds were trapped on a piece of ice in the middle of the des moines river, headed straight for the churning waters of a hydroelectric dam. the two had been playing along the riverbank. >> one of them got their shoe stuck in the mud, went to clean it off and it went flying out there on the ice. so they went out to retrieve the shoe.
next thing they knew, they were floating down the river. >> reporter: luckily, a witness spotted the boys clinging to each other and called 911. by the time rescue crews reached them, mom, barbara, was at the river's edge, watching in horror. >> i know, you know, how strong the current is through there. i've watched it. i just yelled at them and said, "you're not in trouble. i just want you safe." >> reporter: a photographer from the "ft. dodge press" captured the dramatic moments, as a firefighter threw a rope and life vests to the boys, eventually crawling across the thin ice to rescue them. >> the rest of the crew brought this silver boat down and put it on the water and i was able to pull the boat across the water and across the ice to us, where i then put the boys inside the boat. >> reporter: bringing them back into their mother's arms. >> i scooped them up and just was so thankful to have them in my arms. he just started crying. dylan was the next to come up. and he went to his sister and all four of us just stood there,
self-conscious about the way they looked after treatment from serious illness likes cancer. she had a way to make them feel better and it is really catching on. we get our story tonight from nbc's erica hill. >> my name is hannah. >> reporter: hannah grubbs has never shied away from who she is. the 10-year-old has alopecia areata, a common autoimmune skin disease resulting in hair loss. >> my greatest fear as a parent when she was diagnosed is just what life would be like head of her. >> reporter: hannah feels fine. >> queen of the world. >> reporter: her parents say that hasn't stopped some people from wondering what's wrong. >> people will just go out of their way to stop and talk to her and do something nice for her. >> reporter: the fifth grader has turned what could be a very difficult time for a little girl into something positive by paying the kindness she's received forward. >> people always ask me why i don't have hair, or if i have cancer, or if they have time to pray with me or share words of kindness.
and i wanted to do something nice for people that actually had cancer. >> hey, guys, can we work on some black? >> reporter: last summer, with help from her family and friends, hannah launched bows and ballcaps, a charity dedicated to help kids fighting cancer and those who lost their hair. >> i wanted to help someone who isn't having a good day. a bow or ballcap may make them really happy while they have no hair. >> reporter: since then, donations have poured into their hometown of hendersonville, tennessee. and the charity has delivered hundreds of bows and caps to nearby vanderbilt children's hospital. >> hi. >> how are you? >> it seems so simple. it's a bow. it's a hat. but the gift becomes a part of their journey and part of their story. >> reporter: hannah hopes to expand to several other hospitals and even plans to start a care package program. >> i want them to be happy.
>> i've always said to her, you're going to stand out in every room you walk into, so let's make sure we're standing out for the right reasons. >> reporter: an important message this 10-year-old hopes to share with more kids, one bow at a time. erica hill, nbc news, hendersonville, tennessee. that's "nbc nightly news" for this sunday. brian williams will be here tomorrow. i'm lester holt, reporting from new york. for all of us here at nbc news, good night.
it's a race against time for people trapped under a massive mud slide. now officials in washington state are warning of flash flooding. we'll see you the damage left behind. plus, new questions about rail safety and the train's transporting thousands of gallons of fuel into the bay area, and stanford shocks the nation. the cardinal busting everyone's bracket and kicking kansas out of tournament. hear from fans on stanford's first trip to the sweet 16 in many years. gonk, i'm terry mcsweeney. diane dwyer is off tonight. we'll get to those stories. first right off the top, let's get to breaking news. fire fighters battling a four-alarm fire in vallejo at the intersection of